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    Hattie Zhi Chen Dong.
    Visualization of the blood vessel anatomy and the measurement of information related to blood flow play a crucial role in the diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an especially attractive modality for this purpose because of its ability to provide morphological as well as flow-related information in one exam. Despite technological advances, vascular imaging with MRI is still limited by long scan times, which lead to image artifacts, patient discomfort, and high costs. Novel vascular MRI techniques are proposed in this dissertation that greatly reduce scan times compared to conventional methods (scan times on the order of seconds vs. minutes), while achieving similar image information content. First, an ungated Fourier velocity encoding (FVE) method is introduced for quantitating blood velocities in a few seconds. Accurate quantitation of the peak blood flow velocity can play an important role in assessing the severity of cardiovascular diseases. Next, a non-contrast-enhanced (NCE) magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) technique that provides high-contrast renal angiograms in as short as one heartbeat is developed for imaging renal artery stenosis. NCE MRA generates vessel contrast without the aid of external agents, making it the more comfortable, safer and lower cost alternative to traditional contrast-enhanced MRA. Lastly, an abdominal NCE MRA method for imaging the abdominopelvic arteries within a breath-hold is presented. Extending arterial vessel visualization from the renal region to the entire abdominal region enables the diagnosis of peripheral arterial disease in addition to renal artery stenosis.
    Digital Access   2012